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View Poll Results: Washington Redskins - Do you find it offensive?
Yes 37 80.43%
No 9 19.57%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-27-2004, 10:52 PM   #1
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Washington Redskins - Offensive?

The Washington Post just released a story that says less than 10% of American Indians find this name offense.

So what do you think?

Quote:
Indians give a cheer for the name 'Redskins'
By Joyce Howard Price
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published September 25, 2004

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ninety percent of American Indians say the name Washington Redskins does not offend them, according to a new national survey.
Only 9 percent of polled Indians say they find the name of Washington's professional football team "offensive," according to the results of the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey. The other 1 percent did not respond.
"I thought more people would have had" problems with the name, said Adam Clymer, political director of the survey, which questioned more than 65,000 Americans of all races and ethnic groups between Oct. 7, 2003, and Sept. 20, 2004.
Mr. Clymer, formerly a reporter for the New York Times and other newspapers, says it was his idea to ask Americans polled who identified themselves as American Indians or Native Americans if they objected to the team name Redskins, a moniker that many Indian leaders and activists have said is offensive.
But Redskins' owner Daniel Snyder has insisted the team will keep the name it has had since 1933, when it was in Boston. The Redskins moved to Washington four years later.
A total of 768 persons from all 48 continental states interviewed in the Annenberg election survey identified themselves as Indians or Native Americans, slightly more than 1 percent of the survey sample and about the same percentage of Indians as counted in the census.
The question was phrased: "The professional football team in Washington calls itself the Washington Redskins. As a Native American, do you find that name offensive or doesn't it bother you?"
Data showed that 8 percent of men and 9 percent of women found the name offensive, while 90 percent of each sex said it did not bother them.
Those having more education, higher incomes and being younger and "politically liberal" were more likely to dislike the name than those whose education and income levels were lower, who were older, or who described themselves as "moderate" or "conservative" politically.
For example, 14 percent of those who called themselves liberal said they found the name offensive, compared with 6 percent of conservatives and 9 percent of moderates. Yet, even 85 percent of self-identified liberal Indians said the name did not bother them.
The poll had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
Karl Swanson, spokesman for the Washington Redskins, said the new poll "confirms what other surveys have consistently showed."
The findings in the Annenberg Election Survey support those of a poll that Sports Illustrated conducted in 2002.
Asked whether they were offended by the name Redskins, 75 percent of American Indians in that poll said they were not. Even among those Indians who live on reservations, 62 percent said they were not offended.
Vernon Bellecourt, president of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media, said he believes both the Anneberg and Sports Illustrated poll are "flawed."
Mr. Bellecourt, a Chippewa who also is an executive committee member of the American Indian Movement, said he suspects about only about 2 percent to 3 percent of those polled who describe themselves as Native American are correct.
He cited two factors he believes contribute to confusion in this area.
"White persons suffer a real identity crisis, and they romanticize with us mythically. And a white person always will say, 'I'm part Indian and I don't object to the name, Redskins,' " he said.
In addition, Mr. Bellecourt said "about half" of those who claim to be Native Americans wrongly think they are, because "they were born in America."
Mr. Bellecourt says he feels confident "almost 100 percent of Native Americans totally object to our continued use as mascots for America's fun and games."
"Redskins is a slur, and there's a scent of racism in the District of Columbia" with that team name, he said.
He said Indian activists remain committed to eliminating that name and those of other teams that use tribal names such as Seminoles and Illini or call themselves Braves, Indians, or "Savages" or "Injuns."
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Old 09-27-2004, 11:58 PM   #2
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When I really think about it, I am. When I see those fat, ugly, white (or other) morons out there in fake headdresses and paint, I am insulted.

But, I think there are more important issues to be addressed, and our energy is better spent addressing those issues that directly affect our community.
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Old 09-28-2004, 12:13 AM   #3
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I think it stinks! I also hate the Cleveland Indian 'Chief Wahoo' who the hell looks like that? Tribal names don't seem as bad to me...if respect is shown...There are a lot more urgent problems, though, as PH says... than this mess.
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Old 09-28-2004, 11:08 AM   #4
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i agree who the hell looks like that. i was talkin to some1 yesterday, when was drivin to my physical therapists and i saw a car all decorated in burgandy and gold and the driver looked a hot mess in all his gear. and flyin flags with the mascot on it, and i asked the person on my celly when had they changed back to the mascot. cuz for a while it was gone and they were usin just Washington or skins or something and had taken the mascot away.

i was a little angered.
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:46 PM   #5
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Ignorance at best is Bliss....

Why people get off by jumping around like an absolute idiot, and outright use and abuse another person's way of life is beyond me. Again the fact of Ignorance being Bliss. To most they can't appreciate or respect their very own let alone anyone else. The real sad thing is people just don't care and it doesn't effect them,....In actuality if we doned certain particulars from so called White culture and paraded around like an ignorant fool we would not illicit a derogatory response from the mindless masses due to the ignorance. See as I said if one has no respect for themself and basically do not have a culture to relate to...mocking them would probably be an accepted compliment to their so called culture..... (which in fact is a very premise of it in the 1st place) That could just be why people do such stupid things anyway......I would feel extremely embarrassed to disrespect another persons way of life especially if that way of life was demeaned and trampled by the so called dominant society, and knowing how it was that way of life in which laid the very foundation of these so called United States of America.....People need to remember and realize hasn't enough been done, have "Skins" paid to "high of a price" already? Why can't it be an image with integrity, if it has to be an image at all. Why is it in 2004 we live in a society that has such abilty, but so called adults insist on belittling others and have the nerve of trying to justify and perpetuate it?
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Old 09-28-2004, 03:42 PM   #6
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Last night my sons and husband watched the game. The camera panned to fans and one son said, "ooh look, there's an Indian at the game!" I said to him, "no, honey, that's not an Indian man, that's a white man dressed as one." He was sure I was wrong and then looked again and said, "dang, why would he do that? Aren't they already making fun of us with the name and now he has to put on an outfit like it's regalia?" He went on to say, "At first I thought the man was Indian and there to show support for the team, but that didn't make sense. Now that he just put some clothes on, it really doesn't make sense."


I said all that to say that as long as Indian people are "invisible" to non Indians, folks will continue to dishonor us in this manner and dare us to be insulted. If another person tells me that the mascot issue is one of honoring.... I'll have to remind them of the images of all the other human mascots.

What is a raider?- someone who loots and steals
a pirate?- ditto
a viking?- an explorer to some, but raiders to others
so when you add The Chiefs, Redskins, and Braves in that mix, we're all of sudden supposed to believe this is an honor in light of their infamous company?

I don't think any of this will change until a rich Indian has the ballz to start teams like this:
New Jersey Jews
New Orleans Negroes
West Texas Wetbacks
California Caucasians.
Sure, they'll be labled blantantly racist, but maybe the rest of the world will finally get the point.
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Old 09-29-2004, 02:03 PM   #7
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2 people have voted no. I'd like to hear why you don't find it offensive.
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Old 09-29-2004, 02:51 PM   #8
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Red face

I've told people before, it's difficult to raise children with a sense of self-esteem when they're being made fun of in sports and the media. My kids have all gone to school where there aren't many ndns and they've been woo-woo'd at and tomahawk chopped at. It makes it hard for them.

The person who remarked about being "invisible" hit it right on the head. That's all the government has ever wanted from us--go away and shut up!

I call that Wahoo character, "Little Red Sambo" because that's who it looks like more than any real person. Little Black Sambo disappeared in the 60s because black people made a big deal over things like that. If ndns are quiet and go away, nothing will ever change and our kids will have to keep explaining to their kids that being ndn is a good thing--no matter how silly some of those sports fans and kids at school may act.

That's why I don't like the mascots--because it's harder for the children more than anyone else.
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Old 09-30-2004, 02:30 AM   #9
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who were the indians they asked? Maybe their poll is correct, but I don't remember any polls about the name being handed out on the reservations or in any native communities... does anyone else? I doubt they went up to Yakama and asked anyone there either. So who does that leave? Wannabes and apples? Or maybe it was the 100 people that they work with who have that great great great cherokee princess grandma?
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Old 09-30-2004, 02:33 AM   #10
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Of course it's offensive. Why don't they have the "New York Jew Boys"? Or the "California Drunken Irishmen"? or whatever. The jew boys can have funny hairdos and the irsh can be drunk all the time.
And we can also do without those dumb sayings, "acting like wild indians", "honest injun".This world is full of stereotypes.
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Old 10-01-2004, 10:15 AM   #11
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o.k., I'll admit it..I voted no. I wish there was an inbetween response. When I was younger, sure, I used to get all bent out of shape about those kind of stereotypes. Today, I laugh at all of those non-Indian idiots who dress up, get drunk and make utter fools out of themselves. Honestly, if you were from Washington and an avid sports fan, and the "Redskins" won the Super Bowl, aren't you then happy, temporarily forgetting about the "name"??? A name is just a name, the rest is just ignorance and stupidityl I personally hold my head up high to be Native and look down on those who just 'wannabe'.
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Old 10-01-2004, 11:49 AM   #12
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Paul G...this morning I heard the BS results 9 of 10 don't find this offensive! So, the BS is being spread...on mainstream radio!
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Old 10-01-2004, 01:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbear
who were the indians they asked? Maybe their poll is correct, but I don't remember any polls about the name being handed out on the reservations or in any native communities... does anyone else? I doubt they went up to Yakama and asked anyone there either. So who does that leave? Wannabes and apples? Or maybe it was the 100 people that they work with who have that great great great cherokee princess grandma?
Most of the people I've seen who get all stirred up over this issue aren't that connected with real Indian communities. There are much bigger fish to fry, and since most of them don't know anything about real issues they latch onto the mascot thing with great furor.

How come other issues such as sovereignty, taxation, treaty rights, water rights, land rights, etc. don't elicit the same responses? Because those are difficult issues that take a lot of time and effort to learn about and research. Any yahoo can take up the mascot fight.

Whether you want to admit it or not there are many Indians who feel the names and mascots aren't offensive. I've spoken with quite a few who feel it is an honor. And they certainly weren't apples...(they spoke their language and practice traditional ways).

Playing devil's advocate here for a minute: Look at how many Indian teams are named Indians, Warriors, Braves, whatever. I've heard it argued over and over that it's different...but why is it different? And come up with some other argument than the one that's always used...blacks calling each other "niggers" but no one else can use it. I don't understand that either.

Maybe I and a lot of other people are looking at it the wrong way and we should feel overly offended and get all bent out of shape, but I don't. Who cares?

I've heard it argued that those mascots affect the self-esteem of Indian children. That is the most ludicrous statement I have ever heard. My daughter is growing up in her culture 24/7 and to say that a stupid cartoon character will make her ashamed of being Indian is insane. Is the culture that weak that a mascot can make a child second-guess themselves? If that's the case, the problem ain't the mascots.
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Old 10-01-2004, 02:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singerdad
Most of the people I've seen who get all stirred up over this issue aren't that connected with real Indian communities. There are much bigger fish to fry, and since most of them don't know anything about real issues they latch onto the mascot thing with great furor.

How come other issues such as sovereignty, taxation, treaty rights, water rights, land rights, etc. don't elicit the same responses? Because those are difficult issues that take a lot of time and effort to learn about and research. Any yahoo can take up the mascot fight.

Whether you want to admit it or not there are many Indians who feel the names and mascots aren't offensive. I've spoken with quite a few who feel it is an honor. And they certainly weren't apples...(they spoke their language and practice traditional ways).

Playing devil's advocate here for a minute: Look at how many Indian teams are named Indians, Warriors, Braves, whatever. I've heard it argued over and over that it's different...but why is it different? And come up with some other argument than the one that's always used...blacks calling each other "niggers" but no one else can use it. I don't understand that either.

Maybe I and a lot of other people are looking at it the wrong way and we should feel overly offended and get all bent out of shape, but I don't. Who cares?

I've heard it argued that those mascots affect the self-esteem of Indian children. That is the most ludicrous statement I have ever heard. My daughter is growing up in her culture 24/7 and to say that a stupid cartoon character will make her ashamed of being Indian is insane. Is the culture that weak that a mascot can make a child second-guess themselves? If that's the case, the problem ain't the mascots.
What is a "real" indian community? a rez? i grew up in cities and just because your from a rez doesn't make you more indian than city indians if that is what your implying? there some indians from the rez that drink and do other really bad stuff that isnt so traditional.
so it's "yahoos" that get all bent up? maybe they don't go watch football or hockey cause they can't pay 30 bucks for a ticket and have to feed their families and spend time with their children? i don't know. What are they thinking? they can't contribute to millionaire player running around tossing a ballaround? gee.
maybe they should research the issue of mascots? oops i mean taxation, cuz the city indians certainly don't know about paying taxes?
i call my friends "indians" cuz that's what they've been called for awhile and all the degarding crap that went with those names and i ceratinly don't want to be called "first nations" and try to get some kinda easy way around it.
indians calling other people "apples" that's so traditional. i don't speak my language and maybe i don't pray as much as i should but i certainly know not to hurt other people's feelings and try to pretend i know what's in peoples heart's as some "traditional" people do.
"who cares?" i care.
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:25 PM   #15
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i was called an apple before so i better git me down to the traditional redskins game and get me one of dem goose feather headresses. yeeeeeeha!
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middle of the sky
What is a "real" indian community? a rez? i grew up in cities and just because your from a rez doesn't make you more indian than city indians if that is what your implying? there some indians from the rez that drink and do other really bad stuff that isnt so traditional.
so it's "yahoos" that get all bent up? maybe they don't go watch football or hockey cause they can't pay 30 bucks for a ticket and have to feed their families and spend time with their children? i don't know. What are they thinking? they can't contribute to millionaire player running around tossing a ballaround? gee.
maybe they should research the issue of mascots? oops i mean taxation, cuz the city indians certainly don't know about paying taxes?
i call my friends "indians" cuz that's what they've been called for awhile and all the degarding crap that went with those names and i ceratinly don't want to be called "first nations" and try to get some kinda easy way around it.
indians calling other people "apples" that's so traditional. i don't speak my language and maybe i don't pray as much as i should but i certainly know not to hurt other people's feelings and try to pretend i know what's in peoples heart's as some "traditional" people do.
"who cares?" i care.


A real Indian community is just that...a reservation, a reserve, a community in Oklahoma, a Pueblo, an Indian community. Most of the people I see that really get stirred up about this issue come from areas outside of what I am talking about. That may not be true of everyone, but it is my personal observation.

As for who is more Indian...don't put words in my mouth and make assumptions. I never said or even implied that. Again, I was only stating my personal observation.

Your next paragraph confuses me...I'm not sure what you're trying to say. I know lots of Indians who go to football games all the time (high school, college and pro games). What's the point? I also know a lot of Indians whose fav teams are either the Redskins or the Chiefs :)

As for calling people apples...I don't and have not. That would be attributed to Blackbear's comments.

Lastly, you seem to have missed my entire point while you were caught up in some sort of identity crisis. My point is that a cartoon character - mascot won't affect the self-esteem of children or anyone if they are properly taught their culture and ways. If it does affect them, this falls on the parents and grandparents; not Chief Wahoo.
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Old 10-01-2004, 04:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singerdad
Most of the people I've seen who get all stirred up over this issue aren't that connected with real Indian communities. There are much bigger fish to fry, and since most of them don't know anything about real issues they latch onto the mascot thing with great furor.

How come other issues such as sovereignty, taxation, treaty rights, water rights, land rights, etc. don't elicit the same responses? Because those are difficult issues that take a lot of time and effort to learn about and research. Any yahoo can take up the mascot fight.

Whether you want to admit it or not there are many Indians who feel the names and mascots aren't offensive. I've spoken with quite a few who feel it is an honor. And they certainly weren't apples...(they spoke their language and practice traditional ways).

Playing devil's advocate here for a minute: Look at how many Indian teams are named Indians, Warriors, Braves, whatever. I've heard it argued over and over that it's different...but why is it different? And come up with some other argument than the one that's always used...blacks calling each other "niggers" but no one else can use it. I don't understand that either.

Maybe I and a lot of other people are looking at it the wrong way and we should feel overly offended and get all bent out of shape, but I don't. Who cares?

I've heard it argued that those mascots affect the self-esteem of Indian children. That is the most ludicrous statement I have ever heard. My daughter is growing up in her culture 24/7 and to say that a stupid cartoon character will make her ashamed of being Indian is insane. Is the culture that weak that a mascot can make a child second-guess themselves? If that's the case, the problem ain't the mascots.
My case in point was that this poll was taken in Sports Illustrated Magazine, not taken to indian communities. I'm sorry it got some folks so riled up, I was'nt stating anyone here was an apple or that just cause they are'nt offended by mascots and team names as such that they are either.
The poll reached out to a predominently non-indian, male sports magazine group of readers and how can they be sure that those that voted were even native?
Yes I've met traditionals too who either did'nt care one way or the other or felt honored and all I can do is except that's how they feel, but this was'nt exactly my point, but it would , in my opinion, make a difference if it had been those people that took the poll than one published in a magazine.
As for mascots and such hurting the self esteem... I can first hand tell you that growing up (not on the rez) I was angered and frustrated alot with the tomahawk chops, the warhoops and the "where's your headress" remarks along with being called Princess, pocohantas, and hiawatha by the kids I went to school with WHO by the way did'nt care to hear about the real pocahontas, the real hiawatha or anything about my culture and how it differed from the plains tribes that DID wear headresses. So it's not altogether a ludicrious idea. But it did not make me ashamed either. It just alienated me from the other kids all the way to High School.
Quote:
How come other issues such as sovereignty, taxation, treaty rights, water rights, land rights, etc. don't elicit the same responses? Because those are difficult issues that take a lot of time and effort to learn about and research. Any yahoo can take up the mascot fight.
They certainly elicit the same response from me... however I'm more interested in those issues than I am the mascot issue. The thing is, the mascot issue, much like the grammy awards issue, it's more of a nationwide thing that all the native nations can empathize together whereas alot of our other issues are in our communities and states. But that does'nt mean that other nations don't care either.
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Old 10-01-2004, 04:46 PM   #18
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Thanks, "Middle" for another voice for those of us who don't live on a rez. Most ndns don't live on a rez any longer, that's something we need to get over. The wedges that keep splintering the ndn people apart is what keeps us from doing the important stuff. Why should "city Indians" care about "sovereignty" when the relatives on the rez use sovereignty to "purge" the rolls when the tribe gets a casino? In many cities, ndns get no services whatsoever, in Georgia one has to travel to Cherokee, NC (oh yeah, they don't see anyone who's not Eastern Band) or Nashville, Tennessee to go to the hospital. A 3 to 6 hour drive to the hospital? I hope it's not an emergency. Yeah, there are bigger fights to fight, but this one could get pretty nasty and has (gotten nasty) on several rezs.
People love to take my remarks and make something different of them, but I didn't say the mascots made my children feel bad. What made them feel bad was their classmates repeating stuff they heard in the context of a ball game. Maybe that's not something you have to worry about in a rez school, but when there are only one or two ndn kids per class, it makes a big difference. Any kid feels bad when their peers make fun of them no matter what the problem is. But the mascots just give the "majority kids" more fuel to pick on the different ones.

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Old 10-01-2004, 10:17 PM   #19
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Why is it when someone says apple everyone assumes you are talking about all indians who live off the rez??? Red outside, white inside.... to me that means someone who is indian by blood but has no pride in it, knows nothing about themselves or their people and (this is the important part) don't care either until their "native oppinion" is asked for. If you fit this description then by all means be offended by me.
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Old 10-02-2004, 01:02 AM   #20
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I voted No

I voted no myself. If the Washington Redskins changed their names to the European Americans, I wouldn't care either. I wouldnt care if they became the Washington Mayor Berry Crack heads either. I know a lot of fellow NDN's who are redskin fans, wear the ball caps and all that. I am personally a Dallas Cowboys fan. Do you think they should change their names too? You know, there are plenty of bovine out there who may be offended by their use of the term "cow" since "cow" may connotate fat chick. "Cow" also is a derogatory remark, hence the statement, "Dont have a cow, Man".
All kidding aside, I am in almost total agreement with SingerDad. Good Posts SingerDad! There are definitely bigger issues out there facing Native Americans, sovereignty, poverty, education, equal employment opportunities, health care and nutrition for our kids. Drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, neglect... Care for our elderly.... The list goes on , I dont give a Wahoo about Chief Wahoo..... But thats just my opinion......
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